Ector mounted his horse, and had a squire place the helm upon his head. The metallic echo of the helm muffled every little sound that he heard all around him. He gripped the spear in his hand and took a long look at his target, Mordred. He was both dreading and eagerly awaiting to meet his foe head on in the engagement.
Both men looked at the judge of the contest, Lady Catelin, who raised her hand and lowered it signaling the men to joust. Both men spurred their horses forward to full gallop. Ector ran through a checklist of steps that Kay told him. Drop the reins, lower spear, raise shield, lean forward in saddle, exhale and wait for impact.
Just as the two men struck spears, Ector felt a force pulling him backwards. Before he knew better, he then sudden jolt strike his back, throwing him higher into the air. Screams and clamor filled his ears as he finally hit the ground. He thought he heard Catelin screaming his name, but he couldn’t really tell what was happening at the moment.
Someone grabbed him and ripped off the lace of his helm. As the helmet was removed, Ector saw Mordred, or three Mordreds standing over him asking, “Are you all right?” over and over. Ector tried to respond, but he could only produce gruggles and odd noises.
He could tell Sir Kay’s voice booming towards Mordred shouting, “Get away from him!”
Ector turned his head to see a dozen knights in full armor, and Derfel standing beside them with sword and quarter staff in hand. Mordred said something that Ector couldn’t understand, and then as he saw Catelin’s face, he feel out of conscience.
- - - -
Sir Kay spoke to the physician as he finished examining Ector. “How is he doing?”
“He’s doing remarkably well, considering what happened. To be honest, I’m surprised he survived the whole incident altogether.”
“We can thank his mother for that.”
“Aye, it’s amazing. Half man, half fae. If he wasn’t the king I’d be tempted to try and see what his body was made up of.”
Kay was not amused. “Say that again, and I’ll show you what your innards look like.”
“I meant nothing by it. Though I see how the jest could be see badly.”
“How soon will he be up on his feet?”
“Tomorrow if things go well. He may be able to participate in the games as well.”
“We can thank Merlin for that. I’m just glad we were able to end the games for the day. I thought some of the knights would begin to riot at the thought.”
“Aye, I wish I knew where that wizard learned those potions and concoctions.”
“Trust me, those are secrets left untouched.”
“Well we should let the king sleep. He’s had an interesting day to say the least.”
Both men left the room as Lady Catelin approached Sir Kay. “Excuse me Sir Kay, but have you seen Lady Qwynevere?”
Kay hid his lack of wanting her found. “No I haven’t. Where did you last see her?”
“She was looking over Ector when I last left, and now I can’t find her anywhere. She’s not in her chamber or any of the courts.”
Kay knew exactly where the former queen was. “I’ll find the queen, you just stay in there with Ector and make sure he’s all right.”
Kay journeyed down to one of lower gardens of Camelot, living plants mixed with the dead. It reminded him of the new life returning to Camelot, as well as the lives that were lost during the Fall. This was Arthur’s place to find peace. This was where he first met the queen. And she sat upon a bench overlooking the greater gardens.